Remember how the Toronto Maple Leafs were supposed to be really bad this year? That's still true, to some extent; they are, after all, currently 24th in the NHL. That's closer to a lottery entry than a playoff spot (though they are only five points out of one, and we're about halfway through the season).

Now, imagine where they'd be without their October. The Leafs started the season with a 1-7-2 record which is, understandably, putrid, and about in line with what was expected for them to start the season with. That's an Auston Matthews record if I ever saw one.

... Well, they just shutout the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. And in doing so, picked up their 16th win of the season. And since turning the calendar on a pretty terrible opening month, the Leafs have a 15-8-5 record.

That's a .625 points percentage.

That's third best in the entire Eastern Conference since November, behind just the Washington Capitals (.776) and Florida Panthers (.690).

If this keeps up, who knows what could happen by year's end? Actually, this raises some interesting questions: would it be better for the Leafs to snag another high pick who could really end up providing long-term, or just ride this giddy wave of ever-increasing, ever-present hope that things will actually turn out okay this time?

Regardless, all hail Mike Babcock, saviour personified.